We were on the trail about 9:30. The Paw Paw tunnel began about a mile down which was an exciting beginning to the day. It was very moist and dark, just like a cave. It was required that we walk our bikes through and rightly so because we could barely see a thing and it was a narrow path along a 6+ foot drop into a dark canal. We had only one head light on Chrissy's bike so we took it slow and created a small traffic jam doing this. At the far end of the tunnel it was very scenic with moss and ferns growing from the exposed rock.
We also passed thru narrows of rock formations. Slate slivers slide down from the rock face in piles next to the trail, which is also made from crushed slate slivers at that point.
Our short term goal for the mid morning was Bill's Place in Little Orleans (mile 140.4). Chrissy kept up a moderate pace and we arrived there at 1:30 for a late lunch. Bill's Place is about the only thing for miles and it is just a bar that serves greasy food, and in the corner there is a "general store." (The general store is really just a couple of old dusty shelves with a very small selection of canned food and boxed pasta.) The ceiling is decorated with vandalized dollar bills that create a wall paper on the individual ceiling tiles. Bill is an old man that wears a T-shirt that says he is the one and only Bill.
I'm not sure if Bill's place is always this crowded but the place was hopping. As I was putting in the order I remembered that Bill did not take credit cards. I went to look for cash which is a rare commodity in our family. Of course there was no ATM's for miles either. Luckily Bill agreed to take a check from us dirty hippies, because we were starving. Chrissy complained that there was nothing healthy on the menu and did not know what to order and just told me to get whatever and she'll probably eat it, being that she just burned 1,000 calories. I ordered a crab cake sandwich with french fries, a mushroom pizza for the family and an appetizer of breaded mushrooms.
While our order was getting prepared, I indulged in a Sam Adams whilethe girls got ice cream cones Chrissy ate but was feeling sick of deep fried food. Willow befriended some bikers at the next table over. She has a thing for strange men. It seemed that everything took a while so we enjoyed the A/C and relaxation. We also stocked up on the good water from the spicket outside their basement door.
Before hitting the trail we jumped in the Potomac just down the hill at 15 Mile Creek. This was a big canoe spot today. There were ten canoes beached when we got there and about ten more showed up before we left. The water was chilly but it was soothing on our legs.
Willow got all the way in and wanted to stay cool and so we let her strip down for the rest of the afternoon. A big uphill push to the trail and then we were back on it at 3:30.
Hancock was our next goal at Mile 124 and we had told Lion that we might see him again so we pushed to get there before dark. Chrissy was praying for a miracle because our butts were not feeling another 15 miles on a bike. At Lock 55 Chrissy got that miracle. There was a path up to the Western Maryland Rail Trail which is paved. Chrissy pondered that this would be cheating but was easily convinced of the wisdom of such a detour.
We doubled our speed on the paved
rail-trail and made it to Hancock in no time and treated ourselves to some snowballs. We hooked up with Lion around 7:00 PM when he picked us up in his pickup truck, bikes/gear and all.
At Lion's, Chrissy made mac and cheese from our food supply. Josh had a friend over and a bonfire going. They were stocked up with some beer and bluegrass on compact disc and ready to have a chill evening. Josh's girlfriend Jenny loved Butterfly so she adopted her for the night. Josh told Jenny not to get any ideas though. We all learned the unfortunate story of how Jenny just got a DUI or DWI on her way to work Friday (the morning we left their house) after 15 people reported her erratic driving. She was also fired because she missed her shift at work, being that she was detained until Lion could come rescue her. She was in good spirits though.
We hit the bed around 10:00 pm, earlier for Willow. My eye was pussing from the insect collision yesterday. I dosed it with plenty of colloidal silver before bed.